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Apple asks developers to rate latest Leopard pre-release

post #1 of 62
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Having already delayed its next-generation Leopard operating system by several months, Mac maker Apple Inc. is now seeking feedback from its developer community on whether the quality of the latest pre-release builds is up to par with the shipping version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

In a somewhat unorthodox move, the Cupertino-based company this week began courting the developer feedback through an online survey that's also visible to the general public.

Specifically, Apple asks that developers compare their experiences using Mac OS X Leopard Build 9A499 and a shipping version of Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x) in the areas of Mail & Web, Graphics & Media, Setup & Mobility, Desktop & Interface, Productivity & Communication, and Sharing & Devices.

For each category, the company identifies a half-dozen areas of user experience in Leopard -- such as "Composing styled HTML mail messages" and "General stability and performance of Mail" -- and asks that developers compare their experience in those areas to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger via a rating system that spans "Much worse" to "Much better."

The precise motive behind the move is unclear at this time, as Apple has said it plans to release Leopard in October. In keeping with that schedule, the company would have just a few remaining weeks to wrap up development before prepping the software for its release to manufacturing.

Leopard has come under considerable criticism from some Apple developers who've waged complaints about the stability and performance of the software during the tail-end of its development cycle. Build 9A499, which was released late last month, faired no better in the eyes of some developers who said their experience continued to be hampered by bugs.

Originally slated for June, Leopard's release was pushed back to October when Apple was forced to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from its Mac OS X team in order to make good on a promise to launch iPhone -- which runs an embedded version of Leopard -- by the end of June.
post #2 of 62
Oh, great another does anyone else smell another delay?
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post #3 of 62
Jep...my guess is that it will be delayed even more. December....
post #4 of 62
Apple won't let it be delayed again.
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post #5 of 62
Halloween.
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post #6 of 62
os x pumpkin
post #7 of 62
Id rather it was delayed than shipped in the same shoddy quality that Tiger was.
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Oh, great another does anyone else smell another delay?

I would rather have another delay than a system that #@¥ up my computer. It's not good to have a delay but it is terrible to launch a system that should 'just work' and have it bomb. I don't want to be a beta tester with my computer I just want it when it's ready for prime time. I'm excited about Leopard but happy with Tiger until 10.5 is ready. Do the right thing Apple.
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post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Oh, great another does anyone else smell another delay?

Nope!
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post #10 of 62
I guess it all depends on whether most developers agree with the "it's very buggy" appraisal.

My guess is that AI and other sites hear more from the dissatisified users than they do from the ones who have no problems, or only minor problems.

Hopefully, Apple will receive a high degree of feedback.

But I'm betting we won't see Leopard until MWSF 08.
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post #11 of 62
Agreed, if it gets low or middling marks --> MSWF '08. Berieve.

I still think that something has to be cut for Leopard to make it out by Halloween.

Boo!
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post #12 of 62
i've seen an eerily similar pattern of fora posts early this year when most posted comments where identical to the ones we see today. "Id rather wait than get a bug-ridden leopard, I think Apple should take their time to assure the quality of their OS blah blah blah"
Then when Apple did announce the delay, OMG you guys remember the rest, total hypocrisy.
post #13 of 62
I just want leopard, and a minitower... now that isn't asking for much is it Apple? Come on!
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post #14 of 62
Actually multiple delays is atypical for Apple. (edit: except for the iPhone ) They usually schedule far enough ahead and generally hit that target. No it's not the end of the world. It's just... odd.
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post #15 of 62
The people thinking it'll be delayed are probably supposing that all of the developers are going to say that Leopard is worse off than Tiger. My guess is that Apple has been dealing with a developer or two who have been having problems of their own and the vast majority have been just fine. By having all of the developers sound off on all of these issues, Apple will be able to look at the couple of developers making the noise and say, "The bugs must be in your software, not ours."

The pure optimist would suggest that having Apple ask developers to rate everything would mean that Leopard is done and that they think it's great as it is and just want confirmation of that from the developers in order to ship early.

Until we know what all the developers responded, it's impossible to know the state of Leopard as seen from their perspective IMHO.
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post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedalmatian View Post

Id rather it was delayed than shipped in the same shoddy quality that Tiger was.

I wouldn't. If we're talking about minor stability issues then I'd rather it was early so that gives access to far wider range of testers and they can easily issue a 10.5.1 update to fix them.

It won't impact the experience as long as applications are stable enough and under the beta, overall stability seems to be pretty decent. The only instability I noticed was with the Finder and coverflow. People can easily avoid coverflow if it's too buggy.

Judging by the quality of the beta, I think Leopard will ship on time - Apple just wouldn't allow it to be delayed again, they just couldn't afford the reaction it would generate.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Oh, great another does anyone else smell another delay?

It wouldn't bother me if they said MWSF, cause I'd rather see all bugs gone, and the best design they can do.
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post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It wouldn't bother me if they said MWSF, cause I'd rather see all bugs gone, and the best design they can do.

I wouldn't either since the Finder still seems to be buggy, but I'd definitely like to use time-machine before that.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Oh, great another does anyone else smell another delay?

Yeh, like MWSF. I bet they announce a coupon program, like if you buy after October, you will get the upgrade when it comes out.
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post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

I just want leopard, and a minitower... now that isn't asking for much is it Apple? Come on!

Leopard on time is not too much to ask. A minitower is. A minitower is a niche product. Sorry.

Apple's never done this before, yet people conclude with certainty that it means a delay? No, the size of their bug database would indicate a delay, which we have no idea how large or small it is.

A survey of what you like and don't like only tells Apple how to better market the features.
post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It wouldn't bother me if they said MWSF, cause I'd rather see all bugs gone, and the best design they can do.

There's always bugs. If you want 'all bugs gone' then it won't ship at all, ever.

There's always design compromises too. You will never see their 'best design'.
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

There's always bugs. If you want 'all bugs gone' then it won't ship at all, ever.

There's always design compromises too. You will never see their 'best design'.

Here's a question that's just for my knowledge. What reasons would there be for Apple NOT ship their best design. Can you give us some sort of example? I hear you already commenting "Time." But other than that, what would be a reason to not ship the best design?
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post #23 of 62
I wish a developer whose used the latest Leopard build would opine whether a delay is in the best interests of Mac users. Right now we're all guessing.
post #24 of 62
My guess is that every area has issues and as they wind down development, they need to focus their testing on specific areas and are trying to figure out which areas need the most improvement / testing.

No way do they miss october. They announced it to the street and Jobs has mentioned that date as a hard date. If they miss, it means they lose $$$.

Let's not get all upset about this news either. This is a new version which is radically different (even if end users don't think so).

lots of performance tweaks under the hood, a total rewrite of animation services, a "new" finder, an ugly menu bar (I bet someone's already coded a hack to bring the old one back), and a new dock with updated Icons.

That's a lot for an upgrade.
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Leopard on time is not too much to ask. A minitower is. A minitower is a niche product. Sorry.

Apple's never done this before, yet people conclude with certainty that it means a delay? No, the size of their bug database would indicate a delay, which we have no idea how large or small it is.

A survey of what you like and don't like only tells Apple how to better market the features.

I would have to disagree with that. The MacPro is too much for too many people, the MacMini is too little for too many people for example all I need is a Mac where I can add two monitors. Not an iMac because I cannot stack the monitors next to each other like mac displays, and not a MacBook for the same reason and because it's not comfortable, and definitely not a MacPro because it is too expensive for my needs.
The best solution for us "niche" users is something little bigger than the mini where we have a pci slot for an extra video-card or whatever we need to use it for.
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaMac View Post

I would rather have another delay than a system that ƒ#@¥ up my computer. It's not good to have a delay but it is terrible to launch a system that should 'just work' and have it bomb. I don't want to be a beta tester with my computer I just want it when it's ready for prime time. I'm excited about Leopard but happy with Tiger until 10.5 is ready. Do the right thing Apple.

As a developer I was surprised when the survey hit my mailbox. Leopard is an evolution not a revolutionary upgrade. There are lots of improvements under the hood but people don't necessarily buy what's under the hood. I personally think that Leopard maybe delayed until 2008 when they can add some features that will really differentiate them. Another thing that leads me to believe it will be delayed was the silence around Leopard at the recent intro of the new iMac's.
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeyer52 View Post

As a developer I was surprised when the survey hit my mailbox. Leopard is an evolution not a revolutionary upgrade. There are lots of improvements under the hood but people don't necessarily buy what's under the hood. I personally think that Leopard maybe delayed until 2008 when they can add some features that will really differentiate them.

how about the new mail app, the to-do server, time-machine, Spaces, the new Dock, Leopard Server has Spotlight Server that can instantaneously search terabytes of PDF data on RAID drives, and so on
All these are important features for an everyday user, I would definitely be taking advantage of those features.
post #28 of 62
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Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post

Halloween.

Hopefully it's just April Fools.
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

I just want leopard, and a minitower... now that isn't asking for much is it Apple? Come on!

minitower? It looks like you're going to have to turn a mini up on it's side if you want a minitower.
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by suhail View Post

how about the new mail app, the to-do server, time-machine, Spaces, the new Dock, Leopard Server has Spotlight Server that can instantaneously search terabytes of PDF data on RAID drives, and so on
All these are important features for an everyday user, I would definitely be taking advantage of those features.

Oddly, most of the things that really interest me with Leopard are on the server side... If we get a Mac server in our office, we will be moving 25% of our desktops and laptops over to Mac's at about the same time.

I still dream that Apple is serious about the server market and linking the iPhone to that market... and will magically come out with a competitor to RIMM's BES.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

A minitower is a niche product.

Good joke!

Take a look around every single other computer manufacturer that makes dekstop computers, and you will find that actually, very small form-factor PCs (like the Mac Mini) and AIO PCs (like the iMac) are niche, and that the mini-tower form-factor is by far and away the most popular/common form-factor. Hence, not niche, but the opposite: mainstream.
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post #32 of 62
I'm guessing it's nearly ready to roll, but they want the "it's buggy" crowd to
spell out exactly what's buggy, instead of just tossing buggy comments out
here and there.

If they get a lot of "it's great" feedback, and a few specific areas to look at weaknesses,
then it will confirm the nearly-ready-to-roll status.

If they get a lot of "IT'S BUGGY EVERYWHERE!!" feedback, they can confirm,
and then maybe we'll see delays.

I'm betting on the former scenario, and not just because I'm naturally
optimistic! I predict no more delays.
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post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

I just want leopard, and a minitower... now that isn't asking for much is it Apple? Come on!

Word up homes!
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post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Leopard on time is not too much to ask. A minitower is. A minitower is a niche product. Sorry.

I'm all for you not thinking they'll make one but that Sir is an outright lie.

Other than Latops, minitowers are the one computer every manufacturer produces (except Toshiba I think).

Techinically speaking the iMac is the niche product.
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post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It wouldn't bother me if they said MWSF, cause I'd rather see all bugs gone, and the best design they can do.

Okay I'm running 10.4.10 on my system which means Apple patched Tiger a bunch (do the math) of times since its release. Now how on earth can we expect Leopard to be release bug free? Tiger was a nice improvement over 10.3 and even with a bunch of bugs I was more than happy to run it on my Macs these past couple of years. Apple will ship 10.5 on time meaning October, the survey could just be a head start on 10.5.1 update.
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

I'm guessing it's nearly ready to roll, but they want the "it's buggy" crowd to
spell out exactly what's buggy, instead of just tossing buggy comments out
here and there.

If they get a lot of "it's great" feedback, and a few specific areas to look at weaknesses,
then it will confirm the nearly-ready-to-roll status.

If they get a lot of "IT'S BUGGY EVERYWHERE!!" feedback, they can confirm,
and then maybe we'll see delays.

I'm betting on the former scenario, and not just because I'm naturally
optimistic! I predict no more delays.

I agree, I don't read this as a definite delay, I think they just want to nail down the problem areas and stop working on things that are ahead of the Tiger experience, and focus on the items that are behind.
post #37 of 62
Far from being a predictor of a delay, I see this as a confirmation for users that it will ship on time, and also partly as a marketing tactic since the form is open to the public.
post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by suhail View Post

I wouldn't either since the Finder still seems to be buggy, but I'd definitely like to use time-machine before that.

Use SuperDuper, you'll survive.
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post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

There's always bugs. If you want 'all bugs gone' then it won't ship at all, ever.

There's always design compromises too. You will never see their 'best design'.

Get back in bed and slowly get out the other side.
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post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

Okay I'm running 10.4.10 on my system which means Apple patched Tiger a bunch (do the math) of times since its release. Now how on earth can we expect Leopard to be release bug free?

Figure of speech my friend. Shall we say 'stable' then.. now you happy?
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